Home / Industry / Energy /  Rothschild appointed to raise $500 mn equity for ACME project at Oman SEZ

New Delhi: India’s largest pure-play solar platform, the ACME Group, has given a formal mandate to Rothschild and Co. to raise $500 million equity by selling a stake in ACME Cleantech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, said two people in the know.

The funds will be raised for the large green hydrogen and green ammonia project at the SEZ at Duqm in Oman, which will require an investment of around $6 billion. Acme Solar has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Norway’s energy firm Equinor-backed Scatec ASA to design, develop, build and operate the facility. The plant will supply emission-free fuel to Europe and Asia. ACME is also exploring a partnership with Japan’s NYK Line for shipping green ammonia.

Spokespersons for Scatec and Rothschild declined comment. Queries emailed to an ACME Group spokesperson on Friday remained unanswered till press time.

Green hydrogen is generated by breaking down water in an electrolyzer. The hydrogen produced can be combined with nitrogen to make green ammonia, which is used to store energy and for manufacturing fertilizer. The facility with a capacity to produce 1.2 million tonne of green ammonia per annum will house 3.5 GW electrolyser capacity that will be powered by the 5.5 GW solar plants.

Founded in 2003 by Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Acme Solar has 8.5 GW of operational and under-development projects, besides setting up an integrated pilot project for green hydrogen and green ammonia at Bikaner in Rajasthan.

This development comes at a time India and the UAE is planning to conduct a feasibility study to lay undersea cables between the two countries to connect their power grids, as reported by Mint earlier, quoting India’s ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir.

Once completed, the electricity link will connect all the six member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council grouping to India. Three pilot interconnection corridors have been shortlisted for detailed technical and financial viability under One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG). They are: South Asia (India)-Southeast Asia (Myanmar to Thailand), South Asia (India)-West Asia and West Asia-Africa.

Green hydrogen has been a key part of India’s energy transition and found special mention in budget speech on 1 February by the finance minister, wherein she mentioned the 19,700 crore National Green Hydrogen Mission, through which India seeks to gain market leadership in green hydrogen.

India’s green hydrogen play has gained traction with developers readying business plans. For instance, GIC Holdings, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Japan’s ORIX Corp. backed Greenko Group is planning to export green ammonia, by partnering with Singapore’s Keppel Corp. for setting up a 250,000 tonnes production facility.

Utpal Bhaskar
"Utpal Bhaskar leads Mint's policy and economy coverage. He is part of Mint’s launch team, which he joined as a staff writer in 2006. Widely cited by authors and think-tanks, he has reported extensively on the intersection of India’s policy, polity and corporate space.
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